Our Move to State College

Normally, my blogs are written with a tone that demonstrates my personality: lots of humor, fun and a dash of silliness. This blog post is a bit out of the norm, as I am somewhat stressed by a number of life events taking place all at once. That includes an impact on my educational goals and having to revise my graduation plans. So here goes…

I guess we can’t get enough Penn State in our system, because my husband and I with two of our kids are moving to State College, about 1 mile up the road from Beaver Stadium and less than two miles from the offices of the World Campus – watch out Richard and Liam! (note: “Richard” is Richard Brungard, my academic adviser, who I absolutely adore and could not be the student I am today without his guidance, and who I consistently drop in to see when we visit Penn State. “Liam” is Liam Jackson, the person who brings these blog entries to life.)

The move comes at a time of crossroads in our family life. My husband, after 28 years with the same company, was offered, and decided to accept, early retirement. One of our goals at retirement was to move to State College from New York City. Don’t get me wrong, as a native New Yorker, I love New York and will always consider it home, but I actually think we have more close friends in State College just from all the time we spend there.

One of the dilemmas faced was what to do with my course load through the World Campus. Once we move I certainly want to find a job and have been working with a fantastic career counselor through the World Campus. This will certainly impact my approach and plan for school. I have to revise my goal of graduating in 2013 and push it back a year.

While I am disappointed in having to extend my graduation plans, all the people I have encountered at the World Campus have been very supportive. Most saying that a college education, no matter how long it takes, is a great accomplishment. I know all of us in World Campus feel this way, and we strive to attain that piece of paper that can mean so many things to us. I even have had someone say it is okay to take some time off in our busy lives and put school on the back burner. While I don’t necessarily subscribe to this thought, nor recommend it to you, it did make me feel a little better.

Because of all of the activity surrounding the move, I regretfully am taking this semester off. I was registered for a class, but I felt with everything else going on in my life, I just could not dedicate the same time and effort that I put into all my previous courses. More importantly, I would not give myself the opportunity to LEARN and apply myself.

There is a void in my life; it is the void of not going to class and being a student. Even if it is one course next semester, I can’t wait to get back to school. I also look forward to sitting in a lecture hall with hundreds of students, as the plan is to take at least one class at University Park, just to experience a different form of learning and student life than I am used to.

I certainly want to continue to take courses online to finish my degree, as the World Campus, and all those involved in its administration, have been a good fit for me. It has given me such a desire to learn that I did not have in my younger days, and I miss the assignment deadlines on Sundays, mid terms, finals and class projects. I know, it sounds strange, but it is true.

What I have learned in this break from school is that Penn State, the World Campus, and being an honors student define who I am, as well as being a mom, wife, humanitarian and professional.

Now I get to add State College resident to my life resume. I can’t think of a better time to move and become a part of the community that has been through so much. It may be located in a valley, but I see only higher ground ahead for us all.

We Are, and always will be, Penn State!